Metamorphosis – What Changing Seasons Mean for Our Changing World by Maya Laur

Maya Laur is a rising first-year at Brown University, from Wendell, Massachusetts. She is proud to have grown up in Western MA – a place that’s shaped her passion for arts and activism. Maya is spending the summer working with children and writing about the world around her.

Metamorphosis – What Changing Seasons Mean for Our Changing World

Metamorphosis: Oxford Dictionary describes it as “a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.” Others define it as the transition from death to rebirth. Many point to it in butterflies and birds; others equate it with mythical creatures and superheroes. As for me, I’ve found it in my backyard.

In the last three months I’ve watched the woods behind my house transform into something I couldn’t have foretold when it was a plot of frosted ground and bony trees. Emerald mosses and yellow mayflowers have poked their way through the frosty ground. The nearby stream has slowed to a summer gurgle. The maple and oak trees have unfolded into an array of greens and golds. Winter has ended and, from the darkness and barren space, a new season has blossomed. In these woods, there is no distinction between the natural and supernatural because nature, in its essence, is the supernatural. To me, it’s a metaphor for the pandemic. The world as we know it has ended. And soon, by “natural or supernatural means,” we will bring to life a better one. One with solar-powered cars, racial justice, equal pay, and more bridges than there are walls. What’s happening right now, in these strange and isolating times, is the space between the old and the new. The metamorphosis. For some of us that means the end of childhood, graduating high school, and growing up. For others it means mourning loved ones and taking a new place at the top of the family tree. For more it is an awakening – to rise from the slumber of indifference and charge into the dawn of justice. The woods have moved on to their next season. And, so too, must we. Just as we’ve observed the forest, the forest also bears witness to us. And the world is waiting, ready to welcome us, as the human race, into the next season of our soul.

1 Oxford Dictionary